Notes from Australia

How I instill trust on my ecommerce site

I try to make it easy for shoppers to purchase and rent decor from my ecommerce site. But many retailers — online and multichannel — fail at this. Their sites are often difficult.

In this post, I will discuss my six priorities to instill trust and make shopping easy.

Telephone, physical address

Merchants lose thousands of dollars (maybe tens of thousands) by not listing a physical address and phone number on their “contact us” page. Email fields alone are not sufficient.

Most people fear being conned. They are reassured knowing they can visit a brick-and-mortar store or even a warehouse if something goes wrong. A physical address is especially helpful for shoppers who are unfamiliar with a retailer.

Moreover, if they cannot call to discuss their order or a product, they will look for someone else who sells the same item. And if you sell unique goods, your shoppers may feel a sense of resentment and anxiety as they wait for you to call them back.

When I find a potential supplier who does not publish its location (let alone a phone number) on its website, I assume:

  • The staff doesn’t want to be contacted.
  • The owner or staff is not fully invested in the business.

Either way, it doesn’t fill me with confidence to buy.

If you’re not willing to list your physical address online, you’re likely not using Google My Business, which would otherwise ensure your business appears at the top of local search results. And local consumers who want a “buy online, pick up in-store” shipping option won’t know about your business.

Names of personnel

Say a shopper persisted with an inquiry via your email-only contact page. How much information do you provide on your email signature when you respond? At least include your full name, physical address, and phone number. It’s an unpleasant lack of transparency if you don’t.

Live chat

When they shop online, many millennials prefer to multitask — watching TV and YouTube, answering emails, texting. Live chat lets them ask questions in real time while getting on with something else.

If you don’t offer live chat at least part of the day, you’re leaving money on the table. With live chat, I can respond to shoppers about product specifications or the availability of a rental item. I can provide hyperlinks to order online in real time, which helps close the sale.

Reviews, testimonials

There’s a missed opportunity in not gathering reviews from your customers.

A detailed review or testimonial of your products — or even your business — can reassure others that you’re legitimate. The best reviewers list their full name and location. Reviews often contain critical keywords, which can help your organic search rankings.

Product specifications

I’m amazed at the number of retailers that do not provide detailed descriptions of their products.

On a near-daily basis, I encounter event-decor suppliers that provide the product’s dimensions, but not its weight, type of material, or installation instructions.

Accurate photos

How easily can shoppers determine the size, shape, and color of your products from their photos? Are your photos heavily filtered or enhanced? It’s important to show the true color, finish, and other details.

I’ve bought items that were dull compared to the vibrant colors online. In several cases, the product was much smaller than I was led to believe.

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